Get some gratification from a little elevation. There are so many excellent views at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan. Along the lakeshore, overlooks at the Sleeping Bear, Empire and Pyramid Point bluffs stand 400 feet above water. On the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, the North Bar Lake Overlook offers a vista over the forest and beyond to Lake Michigan. It looks particularly good in November. Photo by National Park Service.
Photographer Patrick Rodden captured glorious orange and purple skies over Isle Royale National Park in Michigan. He explains, “It’s a park with so many opportunities from hiking to boating and excellent wildlife viewing. Not only did I enjoy the terrestrial views, but I also had an incredible time watching the sky. This photo was taken from Rock Harbor on my last night on the island. It was a phenomenal sight to end a week of hiking. There is nothing like a midwestern sunset in all of its raw beauty and power.” Photo and words courtesy of Patrick Rodden.
Unlike any other place on Lake Superior, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan offers the opportunity to explore miles of pristine beaches, hike nearly 100 miles of trails, view towering sandstone cliffs and experience the serenity of northern woodlands. The multicolored cliffs that give the park its name rise 200 feet above the lake’s turquoise waters in some places. It’s a great place for a summer adventure. Photo by Sonja Saxe (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Matching water and sky, the sunrise at Seney National Wildlife Refuge in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan welcomes the new day in style. Photographer Teresa McGill took an early morning hike and was delighted by the fiery sky and the calm reflecting waters. Summer moments at Seney National Wildlife Refuge present chances to hear the loons and see many types of turtle, osprey fishing in ponds, waterfowl defending their territory, otters playing or dam-building beavers. If you want to see wildlife, especially birds, this is the place. Photo courtesy of Teresa L. McGill.
Located on the little finger of Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore includes 65 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and numerous inland lakes and streams. Of course, the park’s most dramatic features are the 400-foot-tall sandy bluffs that slope down to the lake’s cool, blue waters. Visitors can enjoy epics views of Lake Michigan, canoe on one of the many inland lakes, hike the myriad of trails through the lovely forests or visit the Manitou Islands. It’s all just part of a wonderful opportunity for bird watching, wildlife viewing and enjoying nature at its best. Photo by National Park Service.
In the winter, waterfalls at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan freeze into amazing formations of natural art. Water seeping out of the porous sandstone cliffs can also freeze into curtains and columns of blue, white or yellow ice. The ice generally begins to form by mid-December and can remain until early April. Some skilled climbers travel to the park to ascend these formations using ice axes and crampons. It’s really something to see. Photo by National Park Service.
Explore a rugged, isolated island, far from the sights and sounds of civilization. Surrounded by Lake Superior, Isle Royale National Park in Michigan offers unparalleled solitude and adventures for backpackers, hikers, boaters, kayakers, canoeists and scuba divers. The autumn colors are pretty amazing there right now, but you only have a couple more weeks to see them. The park closes every year from November 1-April 15 because of extreme weather conditions and for visitor safety. Photo by Jacob W. Frank, National Park Service.
Located along the lower Detroit River and western shoreline of Lake Erie just 20 miles south of Detroit, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is truly unique. The refuge was established in 2001 as a result of binational efforts from politicians, conservation leaders and local communities to build a sustainable future for the Detroit River and western Lake Erie ecosystems. Because of this collaboration, international status was given to the refuge, making it the first of its kind in North America. The refuge consists of nearly 6,000 acres of unique habitat, including islands, coastal wetlands, marshes, shoals and waterfront lands within an authorized boundary extending along 48 miles of shoreline. It’s home to 300 species of birds, including 30 species of waterfowl, 23 species of raptors, and 31 species of shorebirds, plus 117 kinds of fish – all within an urban area of six million people. Photo by Volunteer Tom Kachelmeyer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Huron National Wildlife Refuge is made up of eight small islands three miles off the Michigan shoreline of Lake Superior. Accessible only by boat, the refuge’s forests and bog provide habitat for birds like the herring gull, cedar waxwing and bald eagle. Visitors can stroll along Huron’s lone trail and take pictures of the historic stone lighthouse, the grays and pinks of the exposed bedrock, the blues of the lake and the contrasting greens of the trees. The bedrock itself offers shutterbugs a chance to capture the unique patterns caused by boulders cutting grooves into the rock as glaciers moved slowly over the landscape 8,000 years ago. Photo by Garrett Peterson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In the calm of Chippewa Harbor at Isle Royale National Park in Michigan, the waters of Lake Superior look more like a bathtub than the largest lake in the country. The park occupies the entire 40-mile-long island, offering excellent hiking, boating and incredible views of the lake. Put it on your summer bucketlist! Photo courtesy of Kaitlin Knick.